Protesters shout anti-Nazi chants after chasing alt-right blogger Jason Kessler from a news conference. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The media, some GOP senators and even White House staff were aghast at President Trump's decision to blame “many sides” and “both sides” for the violence in Charlottesville two weeks ago.

Trump's base, though, is decidedly not. In fact, much of it blames the counterprotesters.

A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows 38 percent of Republicans say white supremacists were more to blame for the violence in Charlottesville. But 30 percent the counterprotesters were more to blame. Thirty-two percent offered no opinion.


This was a rally, mind you, at which a white supremacist allegedly killed someone and injured 19 others by driving a car into the counterprotesters. Three in 10 Republicans believe the group victimized in this particular incident was more to blame for the violence at the rally.

On that topic, they are considerably out of step with the rest of America. Democrats almost universally blame white supremacists more (88 percent to 4 percent for the counterprotesters), and independents are 4:1 more likely to blame the white supremacists (60 percent to 15 percent).

This is hardly the first time that lots of Republicans have bought into a narrative being pitched by Trump that flies in the face of the available evidence. As I noted in March, Republicans have largely shunned the intelligence community's consensus conclusion that Russia tried to help Trump in the 2016 election. And not only that, but they also have doubted its more basic conclusion that Russia even interfered at all:

And the new CBS poll also shows this. It shows that just one in four Republicans think Russia interfered, vs. 64 percent who think it did not even attempt to do so. And just 13 percent of Republicans accept the intelligence community's conclusion that this interference existed and was intended to help Trump — one in eight.


Similarly, Republicans also bought into Trump's still-evidence-free assertion that his campaign was surveilled during the 2016 election. The same CBS poll asked whether “Donald Trump’s offices were wiretapped or under government surveillance,” and 74 percent in the GOP said it was at least “somewhat likely.”


Other examples:

And on and on.

In the case of Charlottesville, Republicans don't side with Trump as strongly as they did on these other questions; instead, they are somewhat close to evenly split. But that's actually pretty remarkable when you consider Trump didn't even blame the counterprotesters more. He simply said there was blame to go around.

Three in 10 Republicans apparently think even that was too wishy-washy when it comes to the counterprotesters' culpability.